Former Rats Continue Winning Tradition
Date: May 24, 2018
The Florida League Board of Directors and Head Coaches have selected Altamonte Springs Scorpions RHP David Litchfield as the Cy Young Award winner for the 2017 season.
Litchfield began the year as a valuable relief arm for Coach Bob Rikeman, with his first nine appearances coming out of the bullpen. He made his mark in the final ten days of the year, starting (and dominating) two games, while also appearing in two more as a reliever for the Scorpions in the midst of a playoff push.
Used mainly as a long reliever, seven of his first nine appearance lasted more than 1.1 innings. He held opponents scoreless in five of the nine outings, including a masterful performance against DeLand on July 3rd. With the game locked up at three apiece in the top of the eighth, Litchfield came in with two outs and stranded two runners. He then retired all three hitters he faced in the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth innings before the Scorps were able to walk off for the win. His effort in that game earned him the Florida League Pitcher of the week award.
On July 21st, the Scorpions sat two games back of Winter Park for the #2 seed in the playoffs. Litchfield earned the call that night, and dominated the Diamond Dawgs. He lasted seven innings, allowing one unearned run on four hits and three walks while striking out a pair in Altamonte’s 2-1 victory. After a pair of relief appearances on July 26 & 27, he started again for the Scorpions on July 29th against Leesburg. The sophomore right-hander was efficient in this outing as well, going 8.1 innings before pitch count rules removed him from the game. He limited the Lightning to two runs (one earned) on five hits. He struck out four and did not walk a batter. Once again, his effort helped the Scorpions make a jump in the standings as they won 3-2.
“David is a great kid who was always willing to take the ball no matter what the situation was,” said Coach Bob Rikeman. “Late in the season when we needed to fill the starting rotation, David stepped up and made a major impact on our playoff seeding, helping us earn the #2 seed. David is a young man who is always ready to prove his value, and he does it the right way … with grit, ability and work ethic. It was my pleasure to coach David this summer, and I wish him continued success at UCF this season.”
Litchfield, who is transferring to UCF in the fall, led the league in ERA with a miniscule 1.04 mark. He also led the league in opponent batting average, limiting hitters to a .171 clip. He appeared in 13 games, and threw 34.2 innings. He gave up four earned runs on the season on 20 hits and seven walks while striking out 24. His final record was 3-2, and he also tallied two saves.